Metropolitan Area Groundwater Model

The Metropolitan Area Groundwater Model (Metro Model) staff collected, analyzed, and interpreted a large volume of data to support model construction, and placed it into GIS-compatible databases that are readily available to end-users. The Metro Model and its supporting data continue to be used as groundwater management tools by planners, government agencies, and private consultants.

The model is simple and coarse discretized, including only known major hydrogeologic features. This allows the development team, as well as users, to understand the major features and processes that affect groundwater flow. End-users of the Metro Model modify it to represent localized conditions by inserting site-specific details into the regional backdrop that the Metro Model provides. This permits users to develop models in shorter time periods, with lower costs, and almost always with a better technical basis than would otherwise be possible with the same financial resources.

Current status of project

The Metro Model was supported by the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources from 1996-99 with supplemental funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). It was then supported by the MPCA, which experienced a three-year trend in decreased staff funding. As a result of cuts in federal funds and the budget recommended by the Governor and passed by the Minnesota Legislature in 2001, the MPCA lost about 10 percent of its former staffing level (over 70 positions). Therefore, the MPCA has had to reduce service in a number of programs to meet its highest environmental priorities. The Metro Model was one of the casualties of this action. Without a legislative appropriation expressly dedicated to the project, MPCA has no plans for future support of the Metro Model. Hard financial realities have necessitated cutbacks in many other program areas as well.

Although updates and revisions to Metro Model resources have ceased, all project resources accessible through this website will remain available until they become obsolete. If end-users require assistance in the application of Metro Model resources, we recommend that they retain a qualified consultant experienced in hydrogeology, Geographic Information Systems, and groundwater modeling and engineering.

Project staff are extremely grateful for the support, input, use, and critical feedback that groundwater professionals and end-users have provided over the years. The peer-review and feedback have immeasurably improved the products and services that we have been able to provide.

Learn more about the Metro Model

Staff contacts

Although the MPCA no longer actively supports the Metro Model, inquiries regarding the project may be directed to one of the following individuals:

Selected displays

Links to other hydrogeologic sites

Available for download

To save the following files on your hard drive, right click (Windows) or click and hold (Macintosh) and choose 'save link as' from the popup menu.

Project reports

Model Files

To unzip the following files you'll need a program such as winzip, which is available at

Database Files and Maps

To unzip the following files you'll need a program such as winzip, which is available at

Geology — Paleozoic Bedrock Units

Groundwater Contours

Calibration Datasets

Glacial Drift Sand — Content Maps

Springs Database